We’ve been rebels since the beginning. We ate the apple. We’ve lied, cheated, and doubted. We’ve constantly fought against the system and have even glorified doing so. The need for rebellion seems to be hard-wired in our DNA.
But what about Godly rebellion? What about rebelling against the standards incorporated by society law rather than holy law? Sometimes being a rebel is all in the perspective.
For centuries the Jews had a system in place: follow the holy laws and only then will you reap the rewards of Heaven. The arrival of Jesus disrupted everything. Suddenly there was a man proclaiming a new Truth: follow Him and everyone will be able to build a life with God. To the Pharisees, Jesus’ mere existence was the ultimate act of rebellion because they didn’t want to break from the old, exclusive laws they had known.
In Acts 11, we have Peter contending with a scenario Jesus himself faced time and time again. God had brought Peter and Cornelius, a Roman along with his entire household, together to grant them the Holy Spirit. Instead of rejoicing at this blessing, Peter returns to face criticism.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” -Acts 11:2 (NIV)
Peter had walked in the steps of Jesus when he went to the household of Gentiles and baptized them. Also like Jesus, the first people to condemn his actions were the believers! They were initially too blinded by their old laws and demanded Peter to explain his act of rebellion.
He responds simply by asking, who am I to question the Spirit?
“So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” -Acts 11:17